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Letter from the PCS Board President Regarding COVID-19 Response

 
 

Letter from the Board President

 
 
 
March 15, 2020
 
Dear PCS Community, 
 
This morning, the PCS Board of Directors met in a special virtual session to pass a resolution allowing for a comprehensive and coordinated institutional response to COVID-19, in alignment with county and state mandates and guidance. The resolution gives our Head of School, Dr. Maria Reitano, increased flexibility in adapting our program and operations so that our students can experience as little disruption to their learning as possible while simultaneously protecting the health and safety of students, families, faculty and staff. 
 
We are very grateful for Dr. Reitano’s leadership, and the support and flexibility that the faculty and staff have demonstrated as this situation rapidly evolves. We understand that this is a time of increased uncertainty and stress for our students and families, and appreciate your patience and support as we navigate this crisis. Please continue to monitor the PCS website, email updates, and other communications from Dr. Reitano for the latest information on school closure and distance learning. 
 
I’d also like to share a few related PCS governance updates from the Board of Directors.
 
PCS is in a sound financial position to weather this disruption. On March 13, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order to protect state funding specifically addressing charter schools closing in response to COVID-19. Under the executive order, charter schools that close in response to COVID-19 will retain their state funding based on certification by charter school leaders to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The funding is intended to provide distance learning and high-quality educational opportunities, school meals, arranged supervision (as practicable) for students, and to pay school employees.
 
As a single site charter school, PCS operates under a tight annual operating budget, but the Board of Directors has made a conscious effort over time to build cash reserves to address exceptional situations such as this one. We are confident that with the executive order mentioned above, we are well positioned to manage the financial risk associated with this crisis.
 
PCS is committed to the health and financial well-being of our faculty and staff during this crisis. The Board and administration are working with United PCS and classified staff to ensure that all PCS employees are supported to the fullest extent possible during the transition to distance learning and in the event of an extended school closure. The administration is also in communication with our insurers to determine extended coverage for paid sick leave and disability in the unfortunate event of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the PCS community.
 
The Board of Directors will continue to meet regularly and engage the PCS community. Governor Newsom recently suspended certain provisions of the Brown Act in order to enable governing bodies to meet virtually and respect social distancing measures. Should the Board decide to hold a meeting virtually, the agenda and packet will be posted as usual at https://www.pacificcollegiate.com/apps/pages/board-agendas-minutes along with dial-in instructions for members of our community and the public to join. We are using Zoom as our tool for remote meetings, which enables an attendee to join either by phone or videoconference. Our next regularly scheduled Board meeting is April 15, 2020 at 6pm, although we may schedule additional Special and/or Emergency Meetings if the need arises. We encourage you to attend these meetings and share your concerns during the public comment period. Please also feel free to email me directly at diana.holm@pcsed.org with any questions or concerns. 
 
On behalf of all our Board members, I wish you and your families good health and safety during this challenging time. Please stay tuned for further updates this week, including ideas for how you can support our students and community from home. 
 
 
 
 
 
Diana Holm
President
Pacific Collegiate School Board of Directors